Starting in 1999 and ending in 2003, 'Farscape' lasted four seasons (unless you consider the 2004 mini-series 'Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars' to be the series' de facto fifth season, as many do) during what would be a massive transitional period with regard to the entire medium of television. For one thing, with the launch of HBO's 'The Sopranos,' 1999 could easily be considered the dawn of the Golden Age of television, which would ostensibly put the Rockne S. O'Bannon-created series in on the ground floor of such an innovative and productive time period that would wind up changing the way audiences and creators alike viewed the medium as a whole. But it was also the beginning of a new era in special effects; one where the tried and true method of creating the fantastical was through the meticulous handcrafting and rendering of characters/creatures through the application of latex, or mechanical creations controlled by an army of technicians and puppeteers, was slowly giving way to the (over) use of CGI.
But early on that would prove to be series' biggest asset: The ability to make human and non-human entities into characters that seemed to care about one another, and that the audience actually cared about, too. As with most programs requiring that much world (or, in this case, universe) building in order to make the narrative actually function, there was a steep learning curve when it came to getting the audience onboard with the idea of an astronaut unwittingly flung to the other side of the universe, only to end up in the company of alien fugitives who'd managed to commandeer an enormous living ship named Moya. For the most part, season 1 was all about that "gee whiz" factor of setting John Crichton against the various strange, unknown, and yet still vaguely familiar aspects of alien life and the vast mysteries of space that lay far out of reach for any human who didn't have the misfortune (or was it luck?) to be sucked into a wormhole and shot out into the middle of a space war.
By the time the darkness of season 3 rolled around, the crew aboard Moya had undergone considerable changes, most of which had made them dramatically stronger characters. The season itself could have felt like something of a departure from the rest of the series, but the shift in tone made sense in terms of where the overall narrative was headed, and where it had been. This was largely due to the fact that dramatic (or sometimes traumatic) experiences continued to carry significant weight, even long after the event in question occurred. To the writers' credit, 'Farscape' refused to hit the reset button on its characters when such things happened, despite having the exact kind of storytelling toolbox that would have allowed for such a thing. The show became a unique kind of sandbox that wasn't necessarily beholden to any kind of rule, and yet O'Bannon and his writers like Dave Kemper, Justin Monjo, Richard Manning (and even Lily Taylor!) held themselves to a dramatic directive that whatever transpired, must have some kind of lasting impact on the arc of their characters. Generally speaking, this remained true throughout the series, but consequences of these events were perhaps never more weighty and significant than they were in season 3.
On the station, the Galaxy-class USS Odyssey is due to arrive in eight hours when something begins coming through the wormhole. Kira tells Dax to display it on the viewscreen and it is a Jem'Hadar attack ship. Dax hails the vessel and raises the station's shields, but a Jem'Hadar beams into Ops despite the shields. O'Brien activates a containment field around the intruder and Kira introduces herself before telling the Jem'Hadar it is "customary" to identify oneself before beaming into someone else's command center.
The Jem'Hadar introduces himself as Third Talak'talan of the Jem'Hadar and informs Kira that Commander Sisko has been detained indefinitely. Sisko, he says, will serve as an example to anyone who interferes with the Dominion by coming through the wormhole. Dax defiantly tells him that idle threats will not stop the Federation from exploring the Gamma Quadrant, so he walks through the force field and gives Kira a Bajoran PADD with a list of vessels he says have been destroyed for violating Dominion territory. The PADD came from New Bajor, he tells her, adding that they fought well for a "spiritual" people. He beams back aboard his ship and O'Brien attempts unsuccessfully to lock on with a tractor beam as it re-enters the wormhole.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy-class USS Odyssey has arrived at Deep Space 9 and Captain Keogh informs the crew that traffic through the wormhole has been suspended until the Odyssey can investigate what kind of threat the Jem'Hadar pose. Dax insists that the remaining runabouts go with him and he notes the lack of combat experience among most of the crew. When Bashir reminds him that they have fought the Maquis before, Keogh tells him he expects the Dominion to have "sharper teeth." Kira points out that in that case he needs all the help he can get and Keogh reluctantly agrees to let them come along. O'Brien reports that he has already begun to refit the runabouts with extra banks of photon torpedoes and that they will be ready within a few hours; Dax notes that it will take at least that long to offload nonessential personnel from the Odyssey.
The Odyssey and the runabouts assume an attack formation as they detect three Jem'Hadar attack ships on long-range sensors. However, O'Brien informs Keogh that he will have to break formation as half of the runabout's systems are nonfunctional. Keogh tells him to head for the wormhole but gives him ten minutes to try to locate Sisko. The Jem'Hadar ships come within firing range and Keogh orders them to use attack pattern delta, but when they engage the ships, the Jem'Hadar use a phased polaron beam to penetrate the Odyssey's shields. In their first pass, they knock out the forward torpedo launcher and port nacelle. After rotating through the entire spectrum of shield harmonics, Keogh realizes the shields will be of no use and has his crew divert shield power to the weapon systems. The Jem'Hadar seem intent to focus on the Odyssey, despite the Mekong and Orinoco's attempts to draw fire away from it.
"Starfleet's orders are simple. Traffic through the wormhole will be suspended until the Odyssey can investigate the Jem'Hadar's threat.""What about Benjamin and the others?""Don't worry, Lieutenant. Commander Sisko's return is a top priority.""If you're going to try to rescue them, then we're coming with you.""Are you sure that's wise? With the exception of Major Kira and Mister O'Brien, none of you've had much combat experience.""We fought the Maquis.""All the Maquis had were a pair of lightly-armed shuttlecraft. I expect the Dominion to have sharper teeth.""Well then, you're gonna need all the help you can get!"
John Crichton was an astronaut and theoretical scientist in his 30s around the time he was shot through a wormhole. He was setting out on the space shuttle to test a theory with his childhood friend, DK, while his proud father (Jack Crichton), who was also an astronaut in his younger days, watched. However, due to a scientific phenomenon he had not anticipated, the experiment resulted in Crichton traveling through a wormhole to a distant part of the galaxy, and he eventually found himself on the run aboard Moya with a collection of aliens who eventually become his allies and friends.
John finally had the chance to test his and DK's theory. However, during the test flight, a wormhole appeared and John and his module (named Farscape One) are pulled through it to parts unknown. On his sudden exit from the wormhole, in the middle of a spaceship dogfight, Tauvo Crais - the brother of Peacekeeper Captain Bialar Crais - clips Farscape One's wing with his spacecraft, causing Tauvo to lose control and fatally collide with an asteroid. Crichton then found his craft being pulled aboard a large spaceship, where he met his first aliens. Confusion was his initial reaction and even after the aliens injected him with translator microbes, allowing him to understand what they were saying, he was still bewildered. He eventually learned that he is aboard a bio-mechanoid prisoner transport vessel named Moya, a Leviathan, which has been taken over by its three prisoners (Zhaan, D'Argo and Rygel); they brought him aboard because they assumed his sudden appearance was deliberate and they might be able to utilize such technology to facilitate their own escape. Despite Crichton being unable to help them, they managed to escape.
Towards the end of Crichton's first cycle aboard Moya, he encountered a mysterious alien race known only as the Ancients. It was this encounter that first gives us a window into Crichton's life back on Earth, as The Ancients tried to fool Crichton into thinking he had returned to his home planet with his new alien friends in tow. Crichton eventually saw through the simulation but this encounter proved to be one of the most important events Crichton experienced during his time in the Uncharted Territories. Shortly after this event, Crichton displayed his exceptional, perhaps eidetic, memory, easily confirming a set of lengthy and complex commands that Aeryn remembered due to the brief time she had Pilot's DNA merged with her own. Later Crichton found himself captured by a Sebacean-Scarran hybrid Peacekeeper by the name of Scorpius. Scorpius put Crichton in a device called the Aurora Chair, which was a torture device that painfully forced victims' memories from their minds and onto a projection screen. During this torture both Crichton and Scorpius were surprised to discover that The Ancients left Crichton with some subconscious wormhole knowledge that they intended as a guide to help Crichton get home. But Scorpius had an obsession with wormholes and after Crichton escaped with a little help from his friends, Scorpius took over from Bialar Crais as the main antagonist for the approximately the next two cycles, hunting Crichton across the galaxy. 2b1af7f3a8